That’s using your feet!

Walking around the world I would say is the ultimate way to use one’s feet. Walk through desert. Walk over mountain ranges. Walk through war zones. Walk through history, geography, geopolitics, anthropology, sociology. Walk through humankind.

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Paul Salopek, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist has begun his trek Out of Eden, the name of his project by walking from his starting part along the great rift valley in Ethiopa. He is headed across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, across the Bearing Strait into Alaska and down the west coast of the United States to his ultimate destination, the southern tip of Chile. But Mr. Salopek’s destination is not ultimately one of mileage. Rather it is one of understanding human history, as it was and as it is today.

Salopek is posting a ‘milestone’ on-line every 100 miles which consists of photos of the ground, sky and people and an audio recording of where he stands along with a blog post. His seven year journey will cover about 21,000 miles on this journey sponsored in part by National Geographic as well as news organizations including The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard.

The journalist adventurer can be followed by reading blog and twitter posts, receiving emails or visiting the Outofedenwalk.com web site. On a recent twitter post Mr. Salopek wrote: “On walking and concentration: We were not meant to sit still.”

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Get Fit, America

logo-phit“PHIT America” is a new initiative to help Americans become more physically active and therefore more healthy. Spearheaded by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and backed by companies including Sears, Dick’s Sporting Goods and the American College of Sports Medicine, PHIT America includes a call to be more physically fit and provides links on its web site to find outlets in local communities to a variety of activities from badminton to yoga and hiking, martial arts, rowing, softball, tai chi and many others in between.

PHIT is an acronym for Personal Health Investment Today act, a pending legislation which would allow Americans to use up to $2000 in a pre-tax medical account for physical fitness expenses which the founders say will promote “well care”, helping people remain healthy. In our current system, they say, healthcare dollars are really for ‘sick’ care.

The PHIT America web site offers three choices on its home page: Advocate, Donate, Participate, as the alliance is trying to create a national discussion on the need for physical activity to become a daily part of most people’s routine in addition to passing legislation. The site provides a lot of information about the obesity epidemic particularly as it effects our children. The site is worth visiting and getting fit, of course, is a most worthy goal.